44th human-orangutan synapomorphy
jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Fri Jan 14 13:22:16 CST 2005
And that's how I interpreted it as well and I see no contradiction
between that and what I wrote (at least no contradiction was intended).
The present state of knowledge indicates that the characters state is a
derived feature (just as Ken earlier accepted a primate character in
Shoshani et al as derived even though it was present in one or more
Thanks for the clarification
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Jensen [mailto:rjensen at saintmarys.edu]
> Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 8:54 AM
> To: John Grehan
> Cc: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: Re: 44th human-orangutan synapomorphy
> In standard phylogenetic practice, if a character state is a
> for a clade, then its presence in only some members of the clade is
> uninformative with respect to relationships among those members
> the character state in question. Thus, if mechanical ability is a
> plesiomorphy for primates, then its retention by orangs and humans
> a synapomorphy supporting their being sister taxa. That's what I
> I suspect that's how Ken interpreted what I wrote.
> John Grehan wrote:
> > > Behalf Of Ken Kinman
> > > Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 11:49 AM
> > > To: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
> > > Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] 44th human-orangutan synapomorphy
> > >
> > > John,
> > > I'm pretty sure that is not what Richard was suggesting. And
> > don't
> > > think it is a very reasonable possibility.
> > Richard posted his thanks for Ken's recognition of what he [Richard]
> > trying to communicate, but the above doesn't tell me anything.
> > stated "I suggest that mechanical ability is a plesiomorphy, having
> > arisen much earlier in the animal kingdom." If the feature is a
> > plesiomorphy for primates then it would seem to me that its
> > in humans and orangutans would have to be attributed to the feature
> > retained from the primate ancestor and so its absence in other
> > groups would have to be attributed to loss of the feature. Where did
> > go wrong in my interpretation?
> > I do think it is reasonable to
> > > conclude that many of your proposed synapomorphies are
> > (or
> > > other homoplasies), and thus my suggestion that orangutans and
> > hominids
> > > could occupy adjacent clades rather than clading together (as you
> > > propose).
> > It would seem to me that the synapomorphies do not prevent one from
> > placing orangutans and hominids as adjacent clades at all. In fact
> > would have to be adjacent clades. At a higher level they would, of
> > course, be placed within an encompassing clade (perhaps Hominidae).
> > So in conclusion, I think you might want to heed the advice of
> > > not getting "carried away" on your synapomorphy lists. But
> > > don't think you will, so I give up and am moving on to other
> > I think you said that once before.
> > > However, I strongly suspect you are greatly underestimating the
> > mechanical
> > > ability of chimps, capuchin monkeys, etc.
> > Everything is open to doubt, but it is the specialist literature
> > points to orangutans being mechanical geniuses compared with other
> > primates. That's not just me reading something into the literature.
> > John Grehan
> > > -- Ken
> > >
> > > ****************************************************
> > > John Grehan wrote:
> > > Richard's suggestion that the mechanical ability is something
> > > ancestral to primates and lost in all groups except orangutans and
> > humans
> > > is a reasonable possibility.
> Richard J. Jensen | tel: 574-284-4674
> Department of Biology | fax: 574-284-4716
> Saint Mary's College | e-mail: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
> Notre Dame, IN 46556 | http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen
More information about the Taxacom